For autistic children, a school’s coffee shop imparts skills while raising money

The coffee shop at Woodrow Wilson Middle School is serious about service with a smile. When Edward Lin, a seventh grader, stared silently at his feet the other day instead of greeting a customer, his teacher prodded him.

 “How can I help you?” the boy mumbled, still staring at his feet.

His teacher prodded him again. Edward looked up. Then he wrote out the customer’s order and, finally, broke into a smile, braces and all. Edward is in a special class for children with autism or multiple learning disabilities that is charged with running the coffee shop every Friday morning, reports the New York Times. Setting up in the home economics room, Edward and 11 classmates have rung up more than $1,000 in sales of coffee, tea, doughnuts, cookies and cupcakes to the school’s staff since October. On request, they deliver to classrooms…

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